At least 100 more local youths will be able to enjoy the skateboard park at C. Jay Smith Park on Glenn Street in Newnan thanks to the collaboration of local churches and businesses.
St. Smyrna Baptist Church, Newnan Presbyterian Church, Cook Brothers Funeral Home and local clothing tailor Shannon Woods of Dapper Shan have collaborated to donate the skateboards.
Pastor Tamarkus T. Cook, owner of Cook Brothers Funeral Home in Fairburn and pastor of Saint Smyrna Baptist Church in Newnan, said the new skatepark was exciting for the entire community, but it also brought a different dynamic to the park in a good way.
“Upon reflection, I remember the park historically serving the small minority community around it and thought to myself, I wonder if all of the kids have boards?” Cook said.
Cook said he and the collaborating churches and businesses wanted to make sure as many youth could enjoy the park as possible.
“To date we have effectively secured 100 boards with a commitment of an additional matching 100 boards for future distribution later this summer,” Cook said. “Youth will be able to choose their own unique boards — Newnan Sk8 is the selected local vendor for the project.”
Cook said 41 skateboards have been reserved. He said he has actually already given out one skateboard to a local youth.
“While taking photos in the park, we met a 10-year-old kid with skills so impressive I was motivated to give our first board to him on the spot,” Cook said.
Cook said the Rev. David Jones of Newnan Presbyterian Church will offer a prayer of blessing over the skateboards and the youth who receive them.
Brad Down, vice president of Cargill in Newnan, said when Cook approached him with his goal of distributing skateboards, he was honored to be part of the collaboration.
“How could we not?” Down said. “It’s the right thing to do. Everyone deserves the opportunity to use that park. Cargill sees it as a privilege to work together with others to make this a reality. It’s that simple.”
Down said the park has always been nice, but the skatepark has made the park even more beautiful.
Down said he hopes this initiative encourages others to get more involved in the community.
“Tamarkus is such an amazing person, doing amazing things in the community,” Down said. He was the one who reminded me that everyone could not take advantage of the park. He’s a really good person. We should all look for ways to better our community.”
How to register
To register for one of the remaining boards text BOARDS to 678-551-6011 and complete the form. Boards are completely free and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
Cook said donations or contributions of skateboards, helmets or donations toward the acquisition of either.
Cook said the goal is simple: to place as many smiles as possible on the faces of as many children as possible.
“We are extremely grateful for the contributions of Cargill, churches and community,” he said.
Distribution details will be announced.